Garden State Equality Chairman Steven Goldstein told board members tonight he will step down from the organization he founded later this month to take a position with Rutgers.
Goldstein, who founded the gay, lesbian, transgender and bi-sexual advocacy group in 2004, will assume the role of Associate Chancellor for External Affairs at Rutgers-Newark where he will be responsible for government relations and communications for the campus.
Troy Stevenson, who served three years as the organization’s managing director before joining the 2012 Obama campaign in Pennsylvania, will succeed Goldstein as chairman of the organization. In a meeting tonight, the organization's Board of Directors ratified Stevenson as the new chairman and chief executive officer. At the request of the board, Goldstein will assume the title Founder and Chair Emeritus.
In an email to Garden State Equality's 124,000 members, Goldstein described his successor as an extraordinary talent.
“This is hardly the end of an era,” Goldstein wrote. “Working by my side, Troy is the person I someday wanted to take my place, which you bet he can. So many of you know and love him. He is an extraordinary field operative, political talent and all-around human being.”
Goldstein's final day will be Jan. 20 and Stevenson will take over the following day.
“Steven has been a mentor to me and to thousands of others," Stevenson said. " He has not only founded an organization that has led the way for some of the most important civil rights laws of our time, but he has also inspired a new generation to get involved and change the world. I will work night and day to continue his legacy seamlessly. With his same determination, I promise you this: We will win marriage equality through an override in 2013.”
During his tenure as the leader of Garden State Equality, Goldstein has helped shepherd through more than 200 pro-gay, lesbian, transgender and bi-sexual measures at the state, county and local level.
Garden State Equality successfully advocated for one of the nation's toughest anti-bullying measures, and last year, Goldstein was instrumental in the passage by the state Legislature of an act allowing same-sex marriage. The measure was promptly vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie, forcing Goldstein to seek an override, a so-far unsuccessful quest.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker, long a supporter of Garden State Equality, said Goldstein was the perfect choice as Associate Chancellor for the school that calls the Brick City home.
"He is a transformational leader who has shaped one of the most powerful civil rights movements of our time, producing some of the most important civil rights laws of our time," Booker said. "He has brought thousands into the political process and helped to empower their dreams of a better world. It’s been a joy to work with him at Garden State Equality and it will be a joy to work with him in our city.”
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